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Tag Archives: Health

Report: Medicaid expansion could cost Nebraska nearly $1 Billion

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The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) reports a proposed Medicaid expansion would cost $978 million through 2027. A private actuarial firm, Optumas, calculated the cost based on proposed legislation (LB1032) that lawmakers are considering now. Calder Lynch, DHHS Division of Medicaid director, says that’s too costly and could end up being more […]

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Nebraskans’ mental health, suicide rates still a concern

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The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) reports one in 15 Nebraskans recently reported a major depressive episode in the past year. The data is from 2013, the most recent year that has figures available. DHHS Prevention Manager Renee Faber says many of those people had suicidal thoughts. She says that’s why having […]

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Drugs, alcohol, and tobacco use rates lower in Nebraska, compared to U.S.

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The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) reports smoking rates are declining for teens and adults. A new survey shows that from 2011 to 2013, the rate dropped 2.5 percentage points for adults and more than four points for teens. DHHS Prevention Manager Renee Faber says the decline is due to public education efforts, but […]

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Nebraska DCS & DHHS respond to ACLU’s solitary confinement study

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The Nebraska departments of Correctional Services and Health and Human Services are outlining their use of solitary confinement with juveniles. The ACLU of Nebraska is seeking an end to the practice after a review of its use in nine state and county facilities showed some teens were isolated for as long as 90-days. The Nebraska […]

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UNMC/Nebraska Medicine contract to reduce infections at state facilities

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The University of Nebraska Medical Center and Nebraska Medicine in Omaha received a $2.4-million, three year contract with the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services to establish a center to help health providers reduce the number of infections patents get at health care facilities.   Nebraska Medicine Department of Infection Control and Epidemiology Dr. Mark […]

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Miller drops “acting” becomes Developmental Disabilities director

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Gov. Pete Ricketts has announced Courtney Miller will become the director of the Division of Developmental Disabilities after serving as acting director. “Courtney fills a crucial position on the team at DHHS (Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services),” Ricketts said in a written statement released by his office. “Her broad experience from across state […]

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Health care premiums skyrocket through exchange

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Those needing to buy health insurance through the federal marketplace are seeing premium sticker shock. Omaha Insurance Agent Art Jetter says most policies through the marketplace have double digit increases. Jetter says, “If you look at the exchange premiums, the approved rates are increasing between about 16% and 21%.” Jetter says off-marketplace premiums are up […]

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Health officials fear potential for bird flu making the jump to humans

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While poultry industry experts are watching for signs of an autumn outbreak of avian influenza, it’s also a public health concern. Deb Scholten, director of the Northeast Nebraska Public Health Department in Wayne, says they worked with employees at the poultry farms in Dixon County that had bird flu outbreaks last spring. “We monitored the […]

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Nebraska loses ground, gains pounds, in obesity rankings

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Nebraska ranks as the 20th most obese state in the country, according to a new study from the Trust for America’s Health. The state ranked 23rd on last year’s report, so the situation is worsening. Rich Hamburg, deputy director of the trust, says this study focused only on adults, but he says the obesity numbers […]

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Health alert issued for Rockford Lake; still in effect for 3 others

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A health alert has been issued for Rockford Lake in Gage County. Health alerts remain in effect for Swan Creek Lake #5A, (also known as Willard Meyer Recreational Area) in Saline County, Pawnee Lake in Lancaster County, and Willow Creek Lake in Pierce County. The Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality reports Rockford Lake has been […]

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Health alerts now in effect for three Nebraska lakes

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A health alert has been issued for another Nebraska lake and health alerts remain in effect for two others. The Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality reports Swan Creek Lake #5, also known as Willard Meyer Recreational Area, in Saline County has been placed under alert for toxic blue-green algae. Alerts remain in effect for Pawnee […]

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State audit of DHHS shows millions in benefit over-payments

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A recent state audit of the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services shows they likely made nearly $7-million in over-payments to residents receiving state benefits. Auditor Charlie Janssen says overpayments were seen in programs across the board, including the SNAP – or food stamp program, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, Child and Family Services […]

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Health alert issued for one lake, kept in place for another

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A health alert has been issued for Pawnee Lake in Lancaster County while one remains in effect for Willow Creek Lake in Pierce County. State officials issued the alert after readings at Pawnee Lake exceeded the threshold for toxic blue-green algae. Samples taken at the east and west beaches at Pawnee Lake exceeded the state […]

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Developmental Disabilities Dir. Webb resigns

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State Developmental Disabilities Division Director, Yolanda Webb, has resigned. A news release from Gov. Pete Ricketts’ office announced the resignation, stating Webb submitted her resignation in order to pursue other opportunities. Webb headed the division under the Department of Health and Human Services. “We wish Yolanda well,” Gov. Ricketts said in a written statement released […]

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Second teen escapee from Kearney captured

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A second teen who escaped from Kearney’s Youth Rehabilitation and Treatment Center on Monday has been captured and at last report was being held in the Lancaster County Youth Detention Center in Lincoln. A spokesman with the Department of Health and Human Services in Lincoln confirmed the 16-year-old had been apprehended without incident, but did […]

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